Pucker up Butter Cup: The Trojan Horsification of Coffee

Can you remind me why we’re putting goat colostrum in our coffee again?

 

I’ll come right out and say it – I’m in LOVE with coffee. I love buying it, brewing it, smelling it, and the feeling I get when I (regularly) dink too much of it. I’ve read every book on the history of coffee and coffee house culture, taken a barista workshop, and own 12 types of coffee makers ranging from the simple trendy AeroPress to the shiny handmade vintage Italian La Pavoni manual espresso machine. I even made an online course on alternative brewing methodologies [true story – check it out].  So, I feel I have some ground to stand on when I look around and pose the question: WTF!?

 

The preparation and consumption of coffee has seen an evolution from the watered down drip coffee that permeated restaurants and diners in the late 1940s after World War II, to the turnkey franchise revolution with Starbucks leading the way – to what has more recently emerged as the artisanal craft of coffee movement. But the story doesn’t end there. Indeed, a quick look at the economics of coffee reveals that over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day – making this beverage the perfect vehicle for entrepreneurial opportunity.

 

In addition to its fortuitous side effect of productivity which fueled the industrial revolution, certain chemical properties of coffee (namely caffein) are also highly addictive. Again, making it a ripe delivery mechanism for further consumer products. First came the swag: Machines, Mugs and teeshirts with cute sayings like these:

 

 

Then in recent years, similar to how the pic-ax & shovel folks pivoted to hotels & saloons amid the gold-rush, the question changed from “what else can we put our coffee in?” to “what else can we put in our coffee?” 

 

The supplement industry garners $121 billion per year. Some of the most popular supplements as ranked by amazon  include, amino acids, collagen peptides, and MCT oil.

 

With already 200 million Americans drinking coffee and searching for the latest supplements trending (probably while drinking coffee), the decision to combine the two spaces, now seems like a no-brainer.

 

After all, what’s an even better strategy than venturing a new market category? How about piggybacking off an existing one with a built in boast of near total consumer market penetration.

 

 

Here is just a handful of the latest supplement products made to give your coffee that extra… something:

 

 

If I come off sounding biased against the current trend and products shown herein, that isn’t my intention. I don’t believe I am biased as much as simply curious about my own consumer behavior. I, after all, have a kitchen stocked with many of the above.

 

My only concern, if I have one is that we seem to be going from this:

 

 

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first #bulletproofcoffee #soso #👍 #😋

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I’m sure our obsession with what else we can get into our beloved bold brew will continue to grow. I’m also fairly certain that I haven’t had my last butter coffee. But on this morning, on this crisp fall day, I sit at my kitchen table, hands wrapped around my mug, and I feel a supreme sense of serenity as I sip, just coffee.

 

Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but nothing left to take way – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Comments

  1. John says:

    You know you have a friend here in Colombia, if you need to get closer to the source. I know people here in Medellin that grew up in that culture and will talk to you all day about the finer points of your shared obsession.

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